I came home the other day super stressed (thanks work, I love you but sometimes you kill me!) and with an intense hankering for cheesecake. Unwilling to go out and buy a cheesecake I decided to make one knowing full well it wouldn't be done by the end of the day. I also knew the next day would be busy and so coming home to an almost finished cheesecake would be good. Knowing I would be able to finish it the next day made me very happy because at least it meant I would have finished something over that course of the week.
I've written before about the wonders of stress baking and my attitude hasn't changed. Baking (or doing anything productive really) is a great way to unwind after a busy week.
Sure, baking is sometimes really stressful in itself but it's enjoyable and distracting stress that results in tasty treats. The other benefit of stress baking late at night is that you get to have something tasty, decadent, and downright bad for you for breakfast. Like cheesecake. Cheesecake for breakfast is like the grown up version of ice cream or doughnuts for breakfast.
This cake is crazy rich, as many cheesecakes are. The chocolate glaze however takes it to the next level so it may not be for everyone. However, if you're after something decadent this is an unmistakable winner.
Chocolate & orange cheesecake
adapted from & Gourmet Traveller
Makes one 26cm (10") cheesecake
For the base
- 125g butter, very cold and cut into cubes
- 40g sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 10g cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line the base and sides of a 26cm (10") springform pan.
Work the butter, sugar, flour, and cocoa with a food processor or your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and using your fingers or the back of a spoon press it firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack without removing it from the pan.
For the cheesecake batter
- 500g cream cheese, softened
- 70g butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 125g sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
- 3 eggs, seperated
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Place a large toasting tray full of freshly boiled water on the lowest rack of the oven. Position another rack in the centre of the oven.
Combine the cream cheese, butter, creme fraiche, sugar, orange zest, and cornflour in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on medium-low to combine, being careful not to incorporate too much air. Add the egg yolks on at a time beating until just combined between each addition. Set the cream cheese mixture aside.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture.
Pour the batter over the prepared base. Wrap the springform pan tightly in aluminium foil. Place the springform pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. When the time is elapsed, turn the oven off and open the door a crack. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight.
For the chocolate topping
- 185ml water
- 130g castor sugar
- 15g citruspectin
- 30g liquid glucose
- 75g 70% cocoachocolate, roughly chopped
Heat the water in a small saucepan to 60°C, add 25g of sugar and all the pectin, whisk continuously until the mixture comes to the boil.
Add the glucose and remaining sugar, continue to whisk until the mixture once again comes to the boil and starts to thicken. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the prepared cheesecake. Cool to room temperature then cover with cling wrap, being careful that it does not touch the surface, and refrigerate until set.